This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Is The West Imposing Its Values On Developing Nations Through The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

2425 words - 10 pages

Human rights became a concept in the early 1900’s so to protect the rights of human beings worldwide and establish a more harmonious global society. This concept was embodied in international law for the first time half a century ago (Heuer & Schirmer, 1998), however the concept of universal human rights did not take consideration to the fact that most cultures do not follow identical morals to those of the west. Hence, these rights are certainly not universally-applied today, with oppression, torture and various atrocities committed in many parts of the world still (Lower, 2013). Advocates of cultural relativism argue that permitting international norms to override the dictates of culture and religion is a violation of state sovereignty (Musalo, 2014), so many cultures do not follow the human rights concept established by western societies. In fact, the director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies in 2006 expressed that “many Arabs perceive internationally recognized human rights as a western import and thus unsuitable for [their] societies” (quoted by Bahey El Din Hassan; IRIN, 2006). The concept of universal norms is one considered by western states, and so this idea of human rights is far from applicable in many other cultures. This essay will argue that although the concept of universal human rights would be beneficial for the entire globe, the concept as it stands today is fundamentally western orientated, and thus is a form of western cultural imperialism if imposed in a non-west state. This essay will begin by illustrating that the origin of the universal declaration of human rights is essentially western, and further highlighting several renowned human rights activist groups and NGO’s that are in danger of allowing themselves to be co-opted into strategies that impose western values on developing nations (Foley, 2009). Finally, this essay will address cases between 2000 and the present, where western human rights groups have acted imperialistically in non-west societies, and how their actions either caused more chaos, or proved to be beneficial for the parties involved because of the imposition of western morals.

The concept of human rights, as it is known today, expresses western liberal values and is not compatible with other parts of the world. In fact, to transplant the ideals of western society onto non-western states commits a blunder rooted in intellectual arrogance (Chowdhury, 2013). Numerous human rights declarations, treaties and conventions were drafted under the guidance of the United Nations. One of the most vital declarations adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1948 is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Musalo, 2014). The declaration’s foreword states that it is to serve “as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations” (Musalo, 2014), and was intended to be universally applied. The declaration is often described as a progression of bills, statutes and revolutions in the...

Find Another Essay On Is the West Imposing Its Values on Developing Nations through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights Essay

808 words - 3 pages Universal Declaration of Human Rights1) background:* The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, together with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols form the International Bill of Human Rights.* In its resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948 the General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.* It was set up

Universal Declaration of Human Rights Essay

1898 words - 8 pages transcends regional and local values.” (Sen 2012:94) The question of whether the Bill of Rights is really an imposition on developing nations also arises. In the past, when concepts and ideals have been forced upon other nations, the occurrence has tended to be hegemonic in nature and largely destructive. Looking at human rights, has that been happening or are the creation of human rights merely part of the mutual exchange that has been

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in U.S. Domestic and Foreign Policy

1559 words - 7 pages , Sudan, and Somalia, among others. The plight of the child soldier is not often publicly recognized. They are often "invisible", as are the many other innocent victims of human rights violations throughout the developing countries of the world. Many of the human rights identified by the United Nations in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are fundamental to the wellbeing of every human being in every country worldwide. Several such

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Rights of Man and the Citizen compared to The U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence

794 words - 3 pages de Lafayette, approved by the National Assembly of France in 1789, and gave meaning to the revolutionary cry "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity." The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was written on December 10, 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Its purpose was to make known the "standards" for living set by the members of the United Nations.Although there are many similarities between the two American documents and the two

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Passports and Visas)

1112 words - 4 pages Universal Declaration of Human Rights(Passports and Visas)In 1948, the United Nations created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration granted people the right to leave their own country or any other country, and to return. To travel across country boundaries, many countries require citizens to have a passport along with permission from the government. A passport is an official government document that certifies a person's

"The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights is a wish list drawn up by a group of "bleeding heart liberals" who are completely out of touch with the real world"

599 words - 2 pages nations as to the outcomes of various political debates in relation to this terrorism, most civilians take a positive outlook on the future, solely due to their faith in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Belief in the system is critical for the Declaration to remain relevant, and for civil peace in territories where it is feared that there may be further attacks and possible terrorism. Without some unanimous feeling that peace and

A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE 1995 UGANDA CONSTITUTION BY WALUBO JUDE TADEO, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda. 2005

4043 words - 16 pages of an international Human Rights Regime. It has projected its self into domestic law of states and its norms find expression in national constitutions of states including Uganda" 2It is in this spirit that chapter 4 of the 1995 constitution which contains the bill of rights entitled "protection and promotion of fundamental and other Human Rights and freedoms'is modelled on the foundation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The preamble

HIV/AIDS, Women's Human Rights and the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS: The principal obstacles for the implementation of the Declaration in Georgia

6693 words - 27 pages %2D2007%5Fen%5Fdoc%2Ehtm&PDFHref=&FileSize=428544Tsertsvadze, T. (2001). Statement by Dr. Tengiz Tsertsvadze at Twenty-sixth Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the Problem of Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in All Respects. Retrieved December 17, 2003, from www.un.org/ga/aids/statements/docs/georgiaE.htmlUnited Nations (UN). (1948). Universal Declaration of Human Rights

'Universal Human Rights are a fiction devised by the West in order to legitimise intervention in other areas of the World.' Discuss

3182 words - 13 pages Human Rights when it was accepted as part of the UN framework on the 10th of Dec 1948. However, the optimism seen, not only the creation of the United Nations but also the successive implementation of its powers presently seems to be ebbing away. It is felt that we are in a world in which human rights abuses are seen to be escalating and that the international community seems increasingly more divided on what actions to take in ensuring peace

The United Nations and Human Rights: Has the United Nations failed in its determination to support and advocate for human rights?

3896 words - 16 pages in Article three, to the right “to a nationality” in Article fifteen, to the right “to take part in the government of his country” in Article twenty-one. Although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has acquired universal acceptability through its ratification, it does not have the legal binding of a treaty. To combat this, the United Nations, in 1966 and 1976 negotiated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the

The United Declaration of Human Rights Ecompasses Both Rights and Obligations

1101 words - 5 pages “laws”, people all over the world began to fight for these rights. After many years of fighting, two world wars, the reign of Hitler, and numerous protests, the United Nations was formed. The basic mission of the United Nations is, “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person” (youthforhumanrights.org). So, with the help of the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, the United Declaration of Human

Similar Essays

Reflection On The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

829 words - 4 pages Human Rights declares? In my second assignment “Contradiction of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I cover the aspect of Human Trafficking, where women and children were being tricked, kidnapped and sold for the purpose of prostitution, sex slaves and servitude. I have also discovered that even though males are also kidnapped and sold, the number of females kidnapped outweighs the males. Are we such an easier target than males

The Origins Of The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

1766 words - 7 pages our human nature. The legitimacy of the UDHR is often questioned due to different interpretations and opinions over what human rights are and how they should be applied with regards to state sovereignty. Richard Bilders points out, that such differences are the result of the different perspectives which have emerged between the Western developed nations, whose emphasis is on civil and political rights, and the developing and socialist nations

Universal Declaration Of Human Rights Essay

1341 words - 5 pages On December 10th in 1948, the general assembly adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This declaration, although not legally binding, created “a common standard of achievement of all people and all nations…to promote respect for those rights and freedoms” (Goodhart, 379). However, many cultures assert that the human rights policies outlined in the declaration undermine cultural beliefs and practices. This assertion makes the search

Universal Declaration Of Human Rights Essay

1587 words - 6 pages and protection of these rights and freedoms. The prescient quotation above is a succinct summation of both the purpose and goal of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was set out not as a lofty set of utopian ideals, but rather a basic structure under which nations should accord expressing the rights of which all people of the world are entitled. Yet the declaration is not without its detractors. Key among them are philosophers Maurice